Home Control and Energy Savings
It's a no-brainer that turning out the lights when you leave a room and adjusting the thermostat when you leave the house for the day will ultimately save you money on your energy bills. But, if your house does it for you, then it's one less thing you have to worry about. That's where automated home integration systems can help.
"If you can dial down or dim your lights and adjust your heating and air conditioning with an energy monitoring system then you can see where power is over-generating," says Joe Corona, owner of Corona Integrated Systems. After all, it's widely known that a home's HVAC system uses the most energy of all the appliances in your house, accounting for about 50 percent of energy costs.
With a system that adjusts your heating and air conditioning automatically you can realize savings of about 20 percent on your energy costs, says Michael Pope, owner of Audio Video Interiors. He says that an automatic thermostat that can be set to heat or cool an occupied or unoccupied house or set to a sleep mode at night is the most efficient.
Adjusting your lighting can also save you money. "Lights that are dimmed to 80 percent are undetectable to the human eye," says Pope. Occupancy sensors that turn off lights when you leave the room can also save you money.
Are there any other incentives?
As homebuilding gets more technologically advanced, buyers are starting to expect some sort of integrated systems in their new homes. "Smart homes are better for resale," says Bill Weingarten, owner of HomeTech. "Granite countertops can only go so far. Now buyers want these intelligent systems already installed."
Depending on where you live there may also be discounts in your homeowner's insurance for installing an alarm system or cost savings on energy bills through local utility companies for installing programmable thermostats. Check with your utility supplier to see if they offer green incentives.